When the seedings came out for the 16-team State Farm Insurance Holiday Tournament in Mountain Grove, the Hartville Lady Eagles knew it was possible to have a rematch with No. 1 seed Salem in the finals of a second straight tournament.
And like an earlier tournament in Norwood, where the Lady Eagles beat Salem to win the title, Hartville would have to get past rival Mansfield in a possible second round battle.
Unfortunately this time, the Lady Eagles lost to the Lady Lions, who eventually beat Salem to win their first ever Mountain Grove crown.
For Hartville, they had to regroup and regroup they did.
They knocked off a tough No. 2 seed in Liberty (Mountain View) in overtime and eventually held off Dora to win the fifth place plaque.
Though the Lady Eagles were hoping to repeat as champs, they did still go 3-1 during the week.
Against the Lady Falcons, Hartville trailed at the end of the first quarter, 11-7, in spite of McKinley Sanders scoring all of her team’s points.
The Lady Eagles responded with a 6-0 run behind 3-pointers from Kylie Harris and Molly Brown. Brown finished the quarter with two total 3-pointers for six points, but Hartville trailed, 22-19, at halftime.
Dora opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run to open up a six point lead.
Hartville would respond with a big run of their own later in the quarter as they closed out the third with a 9-0 run.
Sanders scored eight points in the quarter as the Lady Eagles led 33-30 heading into the fourth.
It was just a six point game in the final minute when Dora was called for an intentional foul. Harris ended up making four free throws down the stretch to help seal a 10-point win.
Sanders, who was an All-Tournament selection, led the Lady Eagles with 23 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. Harris made eight free throws in the fourth quarter and finished with 14 points, three rebounds, one steal and one assist. Brown made four 3-pointers for 12 points. She also had six rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Jenna Kelley added two points, six rebounds and one block while Kaylee Ferguson had two rebounds and one assist.
Dora’s Cassidy Hambelton had 26 points.
One game earlier, the Lady Eagles needed overtime to knock off No. 2 seed Liberty (Mountain View), 62-59.
In the overtime session, Brown had a 3-pointer and three other players scored.
It was a slug fest through a 16-16 first quarter before Sanders’ 10 points in the second helped Hartville to a five point halftime edge.
Liberty won the second half, 27-22, to send the game into overtime.
Sanders scored a team-high 21 points, Brown added 17, Harris had 14 points, Kelley scored seven and Hannah Keith added a 3-pointer for three points.
In the first round, the Lady Eagles held a slim two point lead on Alton at halftime.
Fortunately, they held off the Lady Comets’ late fourth quarter shooting to win the game, 57-47.
Sanders scored 18 points as 13 were put in the basket in the second half. Brown made three, 3-poitners and finished with 16 points. Kelley added 14 points and Harris finished with six points.
In the rivalry match-up with Mansfield, the Lady Eagles were simply struggling to stop Logan Jones.
Jones scored 11 of her team’s first quarter points. Fortunately, Brown hit two 3-pointers and Sanders added one of her own to keep Mansfield’s early lead to 15-11.
Up 23-20 at the break, the Lady Lions outscored the Lady Eagles, 14-7, in the third quarter.
They went on to win the second half, 27-15, and cruised to the 15-point victory.
Sanders did finish with 18 points, Kelley had seven, Brown scored six and Harris had four points.
During the tournament, Sanders scored her 1,000th career point for the Lady Eagles.
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